Like father, like son: That’s how Tim Woods ended up flying Black Hawk Assault Helicopters.
“As far back as I can remember, my dad was in an
Air Force flight suit on weekends; coat and tie at his law office during the week,” Woods recalled.
One of those roles stuck as Tim was intrigued with his father’s service during the Vietnam War and in the Arizona Air National Guard after that. All told, an impressive 30-year military career culminating in the rank of Brigadier General.
“Though I knew I didn’t want to be an attorney, military service seemed an inescapable strand in my DNA, so I joined the National Guard on a delayed enlistment as a senior in college,” Woods said.
He chose to enlist rather than pursuing an officer commissioning source. “I wanted to learn and become proficient in our prescribed warrior tasks and ultimately be able to relate to the soldiers I one day hoped to lead,” he explained.
Twenty-three years later, the Arizona native still serves in the Arizona Army National Guard as Deputy Brigade Commander for the 98th Aviation Troop Command consisting of numerous aircraft, wheeled vehicles and 1,200 aviators and soldiers.
Lt. Colonel Woods’ resume includes two tours in Iraq as Company Commander and Task Force Operations Officer with 850 combat hours across more than 250 missions.
“Few people understand the sacrifice that military people make,” Woods said, “and I’ve had the privilege of wearing the uniform with some of the most patriotic, hard-working people in the world.”
He says his service has taught him firsthand about human hardship and oppression. Those indelible lessons provide perspective and shape how he conducts himself as a husband, father and professional.
“When you experience the threat of flying projectiles and see firsthand the results of violence and destruction, you gain a whole new perspective on life,” he said emphatically. “Patience, respect, discipline and good order are all things that have carried over in my personal and professional life.”
Tim, his sister, and two brothers grew up in Phoenix. He attended St. Thomas and then Brophy before heading to the University of Arizona. His wife, Bianca, is also a native, and they have two children, Henry and Peter.
“Both boys have already come to understand the notion of discipline and respect, and I attribute that to my upbringing and influence from military service,” the 46-year-old father said with pride.
Today, Woods is president and co-owner of Farmer Woods Group, a full-service insurance brokerage firm. Last year he was elected to the Arizona Young Presidents Organization and has previously served the Thunderbirds as president and chairman of their Phoenix Open.
Along with monthly and annual training, Tim flies out of the Papago Military Reservation once a week to maintain required military proficiencies. “I am a citizen-soldier until time of war, and then it’s game-on and doing whatever it takes to carry out the mission successfully,” he said.
Asked who, other than his father, he admires most among American patriots, he named his grandfathers (both WWII vets) and his mother – who is as proud to be an American as anyone he has ever known.
“Dad is my real hero and mentor, hands down,” Woods said, “and there’s just no better guy in the world.”
Like father, quite clearly, is the son.